|For the Ruger LCP|
|For the Ruger LC9|
Last week I bought two Old Faithful Holsters kits, one for the Ruger LCP and one for the Ruger LC9. I was intrigued by their concept for a tuckable, hybrid IWB holster designed along similar lines of the Crossbreed holster types. The most interesting aspect, or at least the one that first got my attention, is the price difference. Old Faithful offer holsters in four versions with four different prices:
1. Premium Kit - $38.95
2. Molded Kit - $32.95
3. Un-Molded Kit - $ 27.95
4. Fully Assembled - $72.95
Starting with the Un-Molded kit, more work is involved in getting the holster ready for assembly than in the other, more expensive versions. The Premium Kit comes ready to install. No cutting, sanding or drilling is required. See the Old Fashioned Holster site for photos of the different kits, parts and assembly videos. http://oldfaithfulholsters.com/
So, make it yourself and save from 50% or more off the assembled kit price. The Crossbreed holsters, which are basically the same type - leather backing, kydex holster and metal belt clips - run $69.95 for the SuperTuck Deluxe, without extras such as horsehide or special cut on the leather.
Old Faithful Holsters also claim adjustability for the kydex so that the amount of tension holding the gun in place is adjustable by the user, and thicker kydex than that used by Crossbreed.
I will skip a detailed rundown of the assembly process, except to note any differences or issues I encountered that depart from the assembly sequence that is shown in excellent videos provided on the Old Faithful site. These will give anyone a very accurate depiction of how to assemble and adjust these holsters and are highly recommended if you are contemplating buying and assembling one.
I ordered two of the Premium Kit holsters, one each for my LCP and LC9 pistols. Mine arrived well packaged in individual heavy zip-lock bags for the overall package, the leather, the kydex and all of the hardware. Referencing the assembly videos on the Old Faithful site, I assembled the LC9 holster first.
The most onerous part is driving the "T" nuts into the pre-drilled holes in the leather. Four are used for the kydex and two for the clips. I found the best way to do this is to obtain a piece of soft wood, like pine, and drill a hole big enough to accommodate the tube part of the "T" nut that contains the threads. This will poke through to the front of the leather after it is driven into the leather backing. Using a the soft wood backing and a soft mallet - plastic or rubber works best - you must drive the "T" nut flush with the back of the leather so that it doesn't protrude and rub against your skin or shirt.
When the kydex holster part is screwed into the the "T" nuts with the screws and washers provided it is held off the leather backing with short sections of PVC hose. You are provided with long, short and medium cut sections, as well as a long piece of hose that you can cut parts from if you need them. I discovered that it is best to use the shortest sections, along with the shortest screws possible so that the holster can be screwed down tight enough for a good fit to the gun and the screw ends will not protrude beyond the back ends of the "T" nuts and possibly dig into your skin or shirt. Here is where the greatest difficulty in assembling the holster came for me.
It is not easy to use the shortest screws with the short sections of PVC. The medium screws are long enough that they engage the threads in the "T" nuts easily, but you can't tighten the kydex down enough to the leather backing to get adequate tension on the gun. The short screws can be made to fit by applying pressure to the holster and leather enough to get a little compression in the PVC so the threads can be caught. In one instance, I had to trim a bit off one short PVC section in order to make it work. This was a minor hassle but with perseverance was done successfully.
In the end, the gun was a good fit, tight enough to hold well, but still easy to draw. Having the clips mounted on the short PVC sections also makes it easier to tuck a shirt, and does not allow the holster to squeak when you are wearing it and moving around as holsters having the clips attached directly to the leather sometimes do.
I found that for both holsters, the LCP and the LC9 fit well and are adequately covered. In fact, I would trim the top of the kydex where it covers the top part of the slide. I think it is a bit too long. When the holster is empty, and worn properly, that part of the kydex tends to collapse a bit toward the leather backing, closing down the top of the holster part way, making it a little more difficult to one-hand re-holster. A minor issue, but one that bothered me a bit.
The holsters are as comfortable to wear as others of this design and provide a very stable and well hidden platform for concealed carry. They, like the others, will break in to the user's body shape and become even more comfortable with time.
Another benefit for me is that since I did not pay big bucks for them, I feel more free to modify them to fit my body shape and my guns. Trimming the upper part of the leather, the "sweat shield" portion, to a more exact shape of that part of the gun is a good idea. The extra leather there tends to poke into your side or ribs and isn't really necessary. Also, the leather backing part of the holsters are identical for both the LCP and the LC9. The LCP is a much smaller gun than the LC9. Consequently, there is much unnecessary real estate left over in the LCP version. The leather backing on the LC9 version extends a little over an inch below the bottom of the kydex while on the LCP version, there are two inches of extra leather. Consequently, for a more comfortable ride, I would recommend trimming one inch or a little more off the bottom edge of the LCP holster's leather backing.
Also, I think the rear clip on the LCP holster is set too far to the rear, and could be repositioned at least another inch closer to the holster. This would be easily done with a drill, and trimming another inch or a bit more from the rear edge of the leather. This would result in a considerably smaller holster, making it more comfortable and, if one chooses a straight drop, no cant, design, which I did, will make it very easy to carry the LCP in this holster in cross draw, appendix or strong-side carry positions.
My conclusion is that these holsters, especially in kit form, are great values, the kits being considerably less expensive than other varieties. The kydex is thicker and less prone to flex, but could be modified a bit so that re-holstering is easier. The ability to adjust the tension of the fit, especially as the holster breaks in, is a plus as well. I think one improvement would be the ability to order different styles of clips from. I saw no provision for this on the Old Fashioned Holster site. My personal preference is for a "J" type clip. I don't like the protruding lips on the standard clips as they are more visible when wearing the rig with a tucked shirt, and can be prone to hanging up on an overgarment with a sewn hem, like some sweaters and sweatshirts.
Old Faithful Holsters - a good alternative at a good value and one that can be customized to a large degree to fit the individual. Worth serious consideration.